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August 2004 Truck Series News Archive


 

  • Did ya Know? Seven drivers have won a race in each of the National Series: Nextel Cup, Busch and Craftsman Trucks:
    Greg Biffle
    Mark Martin
    Bobby Hamilton
    Kevin Harvick
    Terry Labonte
    Ken Schrader
    Jimmy Spencer
    NOTE: Geoffrey Bodine’s Truck win was an exhibition race [Homestead] and doesn’t count.
    AND Four drivers have won a pole AND a race in each of the National Series:
    Greg Biffle
    Terry Labonte
    Jimmy Spencer
    Ken Schrader.(8-26-2004)


  • Parker gets sponsor for rest of 2004: AirVest has agreed to sponsor the #21 Innovative Motorsports Toyota Tundra driven by Hank Parker, Jr. in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. AirVest began primary sponsorship of the #21 AirVest Toyota Tundra in Bristol on August 25, 2004 and will continue their sponsorship through the remainder of the season.Parker Jr. said, “The AirVest is a really neat product. Having owned a Harley-Davidson Motorcycle, I can see the importance of wearing an AirVest for safety while riding.” AirVest is an innovation in high-quality safety gear that acts as a wearable airbag in the event of an accident, helping to protect a rider’s chest and back from impact. The unique AirVest design features heavy-duty construction, abrasion-resistant materials, and protected air tunnels for super-quick inflation. And it’s available in two lightweight, comfortable styles that look great with any wardrobe. For more information, visit www.airvest.com.(Innovative Motorsports PR)(8-28-2004)
  • Driver leaves team when truck isn’t ready UPDATE team response: Casey Kingsland has left the DCCS Motorsports team in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and will not attempt to qualify for Wednesday’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway, Kingsland said Monday. Kingsland, a 19-year-old Las Vegas native, was to have made his Truck Series debut earlier this month at Indianapolis Raceway Park, but the #55 Dodge truck he was supposed to drive arrived at the track with parts missing in the engine and he was unable to practice, let alone make a qualifying attempt. DCCS Motorsports owner David Cushner assured Kingsland that he would have the truck ready in time for Wednesday’s race. When it became clear the truck would not be ready, Kingsland said he ended his association with the start-up team.(Las Vegas Sun)(8-25-2004)
    UPDATE: With the sudden and unexpected departure of original driver Casey Kingsland after one race attempt, DCCS Motorsports will continue to soldier on its effort as establishing itself as a contending team in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. After the unfortunate incident at IRP in which a motor was delivered to the team at the last moment in an incomplete fashion the team moved on to attempt to right the wrongs of the previous race and get the truck race ready in time for the next race. With the motor problems fixed the truck was ready to go and attempt Bristol – however the team had one problem, limited sponsorship funds. After seeing the entry list released, team owner Dave Cushner exercised financial common sense and pulled his team’s entry for the upcoming race at Bristol. Upon making his decision, Cushner contacted Kingsland’s father and manager Roger Kingsland and the two talked over and agreed to the decision. “I told Roger this is what we needed to do to make the team survive and be able to attempt more races. I assured him that Casey was still our primary driver and offered his son the opportunity to drive our truck at Martinsville and any other race in which NASCAR approved him to drive. At the time he seemed pretty ok with that decision. However, the news I hear now just shocks me and to find out by reading the newspaper leaves me speechless”. The team will continue on and compete for the balance of the 2004 season. Qualified drivers interested in driving the Langers Juices #55 Dodge Ram at Richmond or any other race should contact the team.(DCCS Motorsports PR), contact info on my CTS Team Address page.(8-28-2004)
  • Edwards wins at Bristol: #99-Carl Edwards, who finished 10th in his Nextel Cup Series debut Sunday at Michigan, returned to his regular ride in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series for a come-from-behind win Wednesday night in the O’Reilly 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Edwards had to battle from the rear of the field, as he spun on his qualifying lap Wednesday afternoon and required a new set of tires. He took the lead for the first time on Lap 180, passing #42-Mike Skinner, who until then had withstood several bumps from Edwards. Edwards never let up after gaining the lead and finished .306 seconds ahead of #15-Shane Hmiel after 206 laps. The race was extended three laps by a late-race caution. #6-Matt Crafton finished a career best third, #47-Robby Gordon was fourth and #92-Kevin Harvick, who owns Crafton’s Chevrolet, completed the top five. Series points leader #4-Bobby Hamilton finished 12th. The race was slowed eight times by caution for 50 laps. There were four lead changes among three different drivers.(ThatsRacin.com)
    See the results at:
    Truckseries.com
    Motorsports One
    NASCAR.com.(8-25-2004)
  • Myers named Crawford’s crew chief: Todd Myers has been named crew chief of the #14 Circle Bar Motel & RV Park Ford F-150 driven by Rick Crawford, and will make his debut at this Wednesday’s NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series O’Reilly 200 presented by Valvoline Maxlife at the Bristol Motor Speedway. Myers takes over the Concord based team which currently sits eighth in the chase for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Championship, 385 points behind current leader Bobby Hamilton. Myers returns to a Series where he has worked with drivers Jamie McMurray, David Starr, Dennis Setzer and Brendan Gaughan. Myers is still chasing his elusive first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series victory, but has had success leading teams to poles and solid top-ten finishes. Myers most recently served as crew chief of the #50 Enzyte Busch Series Chevrolet owned by builder Michael Holigan and driven by NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series regulars David Starr and Ragan Smith. The team was part of Spike TV’s “The Reality of Speed,” a behind-the-scenes look at the operations of a NASCAR team.(Rick Crawford site)(8-25-2004)
  • Raines to drive the #40 at RIR: Curtis Key, Sr., owner of the #40 Craftsman Truck Racing Team has announced his plans to run the Richmond, Virginia Craftsman Truck Series 200 with Tony Raines at the wheel. According to Key, Sr., “We are very excited about the opportunity to go racing with Tony who has had much experience in the Craftsman Truck Series. His knowledge and experience is proving to be a big boost to our team.” Key Motorsports is a new NASCAR Craftsman Truck Team based in Chesapeake, Virginia. Key Motorsports has spent much of the time this year getting its new race shop and offices completed; therefore, has run a limited 2004 race schedule. Key looks forward to a full season run in 2005. Both associate and primary sponsorship opportunities are available for the remainder of this year and for the 2005 season.(Key Motorsports PR)(8-25-2004)
  • Congrats: congratulations to Ryan and Anita Crellin on the birth of their child Colton , 3lbs 8oz. Ryan is a front tire carrier for Mike Skinners #42 BANG Racing team.(8-25-2004)
  • Winter to attempt to make his Truck Series debut: After trying to attempt to race in Mansfield Ohio, Chris Winter failed to qualify due to circumstances beyond his control. Mother nature took over before all the drivers could qualify for the Ohio race. The rain never stopped; consequently, drivers were lined up on the starting field by owner points. Winter Motorsports did not have the provisional it took to make the UAW/GM 250 at Mansfield Motorsports Speedway back in May. Therefore, they will be attempting to make their first start at Bristol Motor Speedway this Wednesday night. Winter will drive the #05 Ford and the team is currently looking for a sponsor to help them achieve “Rookie of the Year” honors in 2005.(PR)(8-25-2004)
  • Schrader wins pole at Bristol: #52-Ken Schrader, whose last NASCAR national touring series pole came in November 1999, won the Budwesier pole for the O’Reilly 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway. The rest of the top five were #42-Mike Skinner, #75-David Starr, #15-Shane Hmiel and #99-Carl Edwards. Schrader was one of 19 drivers to break the track record. Schrader’s pole run was 126.922mph. Schrader last sat on the pole in a NASCAR Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in April 1999.
    See starting lineup at:
    ThatsRacin.com
    Truckseries.com
    NASCAR.com.(8-25-2004)
  • Gordon ‘Bad to the Bone’ at Bristol: Robby Gordon’s return to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) this Wednesday night will be in the #47 Acxiom Morgan Dollar Motorsports Silverado with a special paint scheme showcasing George Thorogood and the 30-year anniversary of his Bad to the Bone tour on the hood. Gordon’s three previous NCTS starts were at North Wilkesboro and Las Vegas in 1996 and October 1997 at California Speedway. Gordon’s Bristol truck effort comes as part of Chevrolet’s Team Silverado/American Revolution program which puts NASCAR Cup Series racers behind the wheel of a truck.(RCR PR)(8-25-2004)
  • Bristol News and Notes:
    The television camera doesn’t do justice to the steep 36-degree banked concrete turns of Bristol Motor Speedway. Few are prepared for the enormity of what they see. Imagine, then, what passes through the mind of a rookie competitor gazing upon the .533-mile track for the very first time. Robert Huffman (No. 12 Toyota Tundra Toyota) recalls his first visit to the unique east Tennessee track. “I remember walking through the gate and across the track and thinking, ‘This is the most intimidating place I’ve ever been to,’” said Huffman, a former NASCAR Dash Series champion who made his Bristol debut in that series in 1995.
    “I drove around the place for 100 laps and I’m beat. I remember thinking after the race, ‘How do the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup guys do this for 500 laps?’ I was worn out – and pretty sore for days after that.”
    Huffman, one of nearly a dozen Raybestos Rookie of the Year contenders hoping to compete in Wednesday night’s NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series O’Reilly 200 presented by Valvoline MaxLife, will have a bit of an edge on some of his freshman rivals.
    Huffman has some Bristol experience in a truck as well as a car. The 36-year-old Claremont, N.C. driver finished 33rd in the 1997 event and a year later, drove as relief for an injured Bob Keselowski.
    “I think we got lapped once when we made the driver change and another time during the race, but I was pretty happy,” said Huffman of that 18th-place effort.
    That race – along with Huffman’s five Dash titles – factored into his hiring by George deBidart’s Innovative Motorsports, one of four teams fielding Toyota trucks in 2004. Huffman qualified on the outside front row in March at Atlanta Motor Speedway, but only recently has been finishing near his and the team’s potential.
    Huffman finished eighth at Nashville Superspeedway, his series best. That followed a ninth at Michigan International Speedway and 10th at Kentucky Speedway. Huffman has finished on the lead lap in three of his past five starts.
    “We’ve run pretty decent all year; we just haven’t had the results,” said Huffman, whose teammate is Hank Parker Jr. (No. 21 Z Max Toyota). “Now, in the last few races, we’ve been running with the leaders and running in the top 10 and getting results. You can’t get better if you don’t get the experience and now we’re getting it.”
    Huffman isn’t alone among Raybestos Rookie contenders who’ve competed at Bristol. Others include Chase Montgomery (No. 8 Herbalife International Dodge), who finished 22nd in the 2003 NASCAR Busch Series Channellock 250. David Reutimann (No. 17 NTN Bearings Toyota) won the Bud Pole for the NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division, Southeast Series’ 2001 visit to the track. Kelly Sutton (No. 02 Team Copaxone Chevrolet) also competed at the track in several NASCAR Dash races.
    Any experience – especially at Bristol – is helpful, according to Huffman.
    “I think my Dash Series experience will definitely help me, especially when figuring out the best way to get through the corners,” he said. “Things I learned at Nashville in the series proved to be helpful last weekend. I’m sure the same will be true at Bristol.”

    NEWS & NOTES, PART II
    NEXTEL Cup Series drivers enter O’Reilly 200 … Three NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series veterans have entered the O’Reilly 200 presented by Valvoline MaxLife, including Kevin Harvick (No. 92 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet), who lost the race lead to tire failure with slightly more than a lap remaining in last year’s event. Robby Gordon (No. 47 ACXIOM Chevrolet) will make his first series appearance since 1997 as will Ken Schrader (No. 52 Federated Auto Parts Chevrolet).

    Hamilton in pursuit of Tennessee Triple … Bobby Hamilton (No. 4 Square D Dodge) can go where no driver has before, with a chance to win all three current series stops in the state of Tennessee in the same season. Hamilton won at Memphis Motorsports Park in June and at Nashville Superspeedway on Aug. 14. Also the NCTS points leader, Hamilton will drive a chassis dubbed “Mini Me,” the truck his son, Bobby Jr., put on the Bud Pole at Nashville and drove to a fourth-place finish. “Mini Me” is the elder Hamilton’s nickname for Bobby Jr.

    Etc. … Hamilton’s championship lead of 84 points over Dennis Setzer (No. 46 Chevrolet Silverado Chevrolet) is the second largest of the season. Setzer held a 131-point advantage over Carl Edwards (No. 99 Superchips Ford) after the June 25 event at The Milwaukee Mile. … The O’Reilly 200 presented by Valvoline MaxLife has been won off the front row three times, and by a competitor starting among the top three on five occasions. The defending winner, Travis Kvapil (No. 24 Line-X Toyota), started 12th last year. … Ron Hornaday Jr. led all 200 laps in winning the 1997 race. Hornaday also won the last event in which there were no lead changes – July 12, 1997 at the old Louisville Motor Speedway. … Reutimann’s team owner, Darrell Waltrip, won 12 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup events at Bristol Motor Speedway, the most by any driver. The team’s general manager, Bobby Kennedy, was Michael Waltrip’s winning crew chief in the 2003 NASCAR Busch Series Food City 250 … Three of the first four Bristol events were decided by less than one second. Joe Ruttman’s victory over Geoffrey Bodine in the first NCTS event remains the closest finish, a margin of .130 second. … Chevrolet has won five of six series races at Bristol Motor Speedway. Dodge remains winless, but was the runnerup in 1999 and 2003.

    ON THE RIGHT TRACK
    Three of top four Bristol lap leaders to compete … Drivers ranked second through fourth in laps led at Bristol Motor Speedway have entered this week’s event. They are Jack Sprague (No. 16 Chevy Trucks Chevrolet, 129 laps led), Mike Skinner (No. 42 Toyota Tundra Toyota, 125) and Kevin Harvick (124), respectively. In five Bristol starts, Sprague has never finished out of the top 10, completing each of a possible 956 laps.

    QUOTEBOOK
    “You see a lot of veterans win on short tracks just because they’ve been there to figure the track out and are patient enough to wait on the right timing during the race. There is not really a certain way to drive them. Just staying out of trouble is hard enough. It pays to be in the front of the pack.” – Bobby Hamilton on what it takes to win a short-track race.
    “There is nothing we race on that is similar to Bristol. Bristol is such a unique track by itself. Whether it’s Mansfield, Memphis, IRP or Martinsville, absolutely ‘zero’ will help us at Bristol. There is nothing we’ve done at the other short tracks this year that can help us at Bristol.” – Terry Cook (No. 10 International Truck and Engines Ford), whose 14th-place finish in 1998 remains his best effort at Bristol Motor Speedway.
    “You know how quickly things can happen out there and stay heads-ups from the drop of the green. Even then, you can be leading and then in the garage in a blink of an eye.” – Jack Sprague.
    “It’s a pivotal race for points. We’re going to keep our eyes wide open when we get there, but there again, I gotta keep my foot wide open, too, in order to stay at the front and out of trouble.” – Ted Musgrave (No. 1 Mopar Dodge), the 2003 O’Reilly 200 presented by Valvoline MaxLife Bud Pole winner.

    FROM THE ARCHIVES
    Two competitors, Joe Ruttman (1995) and Rick Carelli (1996) recorded their first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series victories at Bristol Motor Speedway. Every subsequent winner – Ron Hornaday Jr. (1997-98), Sprague (1999) and Travis Kvapil (2003) – has been a series champion.

    Fast Facts
    What: O’Reilly 200 presented by Valvoline MaxLife (Race No. 16 of 25).
    Where: Bristol Motor Speedway, Bristol, Tenn.
    When: 9 p.m. ET, Wednesday, Aug. 25.
    Track layout: .533-mile high- banked concrete oval.
    Race length: 200 laps/106.6 miles.
    Posted awards: $446,514.
    TV: SPEED Channel, 9 p.m. ET.
    Radio: MRN, XM Satellite.
    2003 winner: Travis Kvapil.
    2003 polesitter: Ted Musgrave.
    Pre-race schedule (all times local): Wednesday, Practice 11:20 a.m. until 1:20 p.m. Qualifying 4:40 p.m. Trucks impounded following qualifying.(NASCAR PR)(8-23-2004)

  • Herbalife to sponsor Montgomery at Bristol: BHR2 and driver Chase Montgomery announce the signing of Herbalife International, Inc. as the primary sponsor for the August 25th NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event at the Bristol Motor Speedway. The Herbalife colors and logo will adorn the #8 DODGE truck of the Mt. Juliet, TN native for the O’Reilly 200 under the lights at Bristol. This one race sponsorship was created by Herbalife Independent Distributor and MB3 Motorsports owner Michael Burton. Burton sees the tremendous value of sponsoring a truck in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and will bring fellow distributors together to utilize this marketing program to its fullest potential. For more information on Chase and his team, please visit them at www.chasemontgomery.com. Herbalife is a leading company in science-based weight management and meal replacements. For more information, visit www.herbalife.com.(Integrity Sports Marketing / BHR2 PR)(8-24-2004)
  • LaJoie to run the #59 truck at Bristol: Randy LaJoie will be behind the wheel of the #59 Harris Trucking Dodge for the Truck Series event at Bristol on Wednesday, August 25th. NCTS team owner Jim Harris, has tapped into the experience of Randy LaJoie for several races in 2004. LaJoie has driven at Daytona, Atlanta, Gateway, Michigan, and Kentucky. LaJoie has 20 starts at Bristol, with 4 top 5’s and 8 top 10’s. He has completed 3893 of the 4950 laps run in NASCAR Busch Series competition. This will be his first NCTS start at the famed high-banked speedway. LaJoie has had a stellar career in NASCAR competition, winning back to back NASCAR Busch Series Championships in 1996 and 1997.(RC Sports Management PR)(8-24-2004)
  • Barry Bodine returns to the Truck Series: Barry Bodine will be returning to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series on Thursday, September 9 for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series 200 race at Richmond International Raceway. Bodine will be making his 2004 debut in the #89 Chevrolet owned by Chris Lafferty of Lafferty Engine Creations. The team will be headed up by none other then Nextel Cup race winner, Geoffrey Bodine, who will be crew chief, while his uncle, Nextel Cup driver, Todd Bodine will be looking out for him in the spotters’ towers. Bodine is tentatively scheduled to also race Martinsville this year with plans to compete at Daytona in 2005 with this team.(PR)(8-24-2004)
  • Arnold Motorsports to field Toyota Truck team: Arnold Motorsports and Germain Motor Co. have announced creation of Germain/Arnold Racing and said that veteran Todd Bodine will drive the team’s #30 Toyota in the final nine Craftsman Truck Series races of the year. The team says it is joining Toyota Racing Development’s engine lease program. Mike Hillman, who is currently the crew chief for Arnold Motorsports’ #50 Nextel Cup entry, will be the crew chief for the truck team.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(8-23-2004)
  • Benson to finish out the year in the #23 Truck: Johnny Benson and Bill Davis Racing have finalized plans for Benson to compete in the #23 Toyota Tundra Truck for the remainder of the year.(Johnny Benson site)(8-18-2004)
  • Hamilton wins at Nashville: #4-Bobby Hamilton used a high pass to get around #75-David Starr with eight laps remaining and claimed his fourth Craftsman Truck Series race of the season at Nashville Superspeedway on Saturday. Hamilton, the series point leader, won the Toyota Tundra 200 by 0.795 seconds, about three truck lengths. He ran a conservative pace in his Dodge through much of the 150-lap, 200-mile event and averaged 124.068 mph. Hamilton, who started 15th, was fifth or higher from lap 40. He had Starr’s Chevrolet in his sights when the race restarted following the fifth caution and pulled outside Starr entering the first turn. After the pair ran side-by-side down the backstretch, Hamilton was able to brake later than Starr entering the third turn, and then pulled away. Hamilton’s winning pass was the ninth lead change of a race slowed by five cautions for 20 laps. Five drivers took turns heading the field. #1-Ted Musgrave, polesitter #04-Bobby Hamilton Jr., the winner’s son, and #62-Steve Park completed the top five, all driving Dodge trucks. Hamilton Jr. led the most laps, 89, but faded from contention after a tire change on his final pit stop on lap 119. #23-Johnny Benson, #6-Matt Crafton, rookies #12-Robert Huffman and #17-David Reutimann and #42-Mike Skinner finished sixth through 10th. Twenty-seven of the race’s 30 finishers completed all 150 laps. Hamilton, who entered the race with a five-point lead, raised his advantage over #46-Dennis Setzer to 84 points through 15 of 25 races. Setzer finished 19th.(ThatsRacin.com/AP)
    See race results at:
    ThatsRacin.com
    Motorsports One
    Truckseries.com
    NASCAR.com,(8-14-2004)
  • DW Grand Marshall and 10,000 Toyota Employee’s at Nashville: Nashville Superspeedway will play host to the Toyota Tundra 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race on Saturday afternoon, August 14 and racing legend Darrell Waltrip will serve as Grand Marshal for the race. Waltrip will be joined by more than 10,000 Toyota employees from around the nation for the first annual “homecoming” event to celebrate the Toyota Tundra in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Travis Kvapil led the final 17 laps of Saturday’s Line-X Bedliners 200 at Michigan International Speedway and gave Toyota its first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series victory.(Nashville Superspeedway PR)(8-13-2004)
  • Hamilton JR wins the pole at Nashville: #04-Bobby Hamilton Jr., making a rare appearance in the Truck Series, won the pole for the Toyota Tundra 200 at Nashville Superspeedway with a lap of 160.990mph. The rest of the top five were: #17-David Reutimann, #46-Dennis Setzer, #6-Matt Crafton and #15-Shane Hmiel. Only one driver failed to make the race, Longtime NASCAR driver James Hylton.
    Qualifying results/starting lineup at:
    ThatsRacin.com Truckseries.com
    NASCAR.com.(8-13-2004)
  • #31 Crew Chief Fined: Joe E. Slonkosky, crew chief for the #31 Dodge driven by Tim Schendel in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, has been fined $500 by NASCAR for a rule infraction that occurred this past weekend at Indianapolis Raceway Park. Slonkosky was found in violation of Section 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and Section 12-4-Q (truck, truck parts, components and/or equipment used in the event that do not conform to NASCAR rules) of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Rule Book. The violation – the #31 had two hollow axles – was found during the event’s pre-race inspection process last Friday (Aug. 6).(NASCAR PR)(8-12-2004)
  • Nashville – NEWS & NOTES
    Hamilton season’s fifth different points leader … Nashville’s Bobby Hamilton enters this week’s “home game” as the new NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship leader by five points over Dennis Setzer (No. 46 Chevrolet Silverado Chevrolet). The last time Hamilton led the standings was last season. Following the 2003 season opener at Daytona, Hamilton won the following week at Darlington and led the points for seven consecutive weeks. He finished sixth in last year’s final rankings. This year, Setzer’s reign ended after 10 consecutive races, beginning May 16 at Mansfield Motorsports Speedway. Edwards and Travis Kvapil (No. 24 Line-X Toyota) also have led the standings, giving each manufacturer at least one driver at the top. Chaffin latest to double up … Chad Chaffin (No. 18 Dickies Dodge), who led only the final lap, en route to his Aug. 6 win at Indianapolis Raceway Park, is the fourth driver this season with two or more victories. There hasn’t been a repeat winner, however, over the past six races.

    Etc. … At Nashville, Hamilton and son Bobby Hamilton Jr. (No. 04 Hyde Park Electronics Dodge) will face off for the first time in a NASCAR Craftsman Truck event. The younger Hamilton finished fourth in the 2002 event. … Nashville fans will have plenty of rooting interest in the Toyota Tundra 200. Four area drivers – the Hamiltons, Chaffin and Chase Montgomery (No. 8 Gladiator Garageworks Dodge) – will compete along with Deborah Renshaw (No. 29 K Automotive Ford), a former Music City Motorplex late model competitor. … The defending winner, Carl Edwards is the only previous winner expected to compete in the Toyota Tundra 200. … Scott Riggs (2001) and Mike Bliss (2002) won the race from the Bud Pole. Chaffin finished sixth from the top starting spot last year. … James Hylton (No. 77 Dodge) is set to make his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series debut in Nashville, 12 days shy of his 69th birthday. Hylton, the 1966 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Rookie of the Year and 1972 Talladega 500 winner, is a veteran of 641 starts in NASCAR’s premier series. Morgan Shepherd, at age 62, is the oldest driver to have started a NASCAR Craftsman Truck race; he did it in November 2003. … The Toyota Tundra 200 marks the 22nd time the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series has appeared in Tennessee, beginning with the June 1995 stop at Bristol Motor Speedway. Only Virginia, with 23 events, has hosted more series races. … As many as 10,000 Toyota employees from assembly plants in Indiana, Kentucky and Alabama are expected to attend Saturday’s race, a hospitality event believed to be one of the largest ever by a single company for a NASCAR event. The Tundra, on which the manufacturer’s race truck is based, is built in Princeton, Ind.. … Saturday’s pre-race activities will see Darrell Waltrip hand over the keys to his Toyota Tundra Double Cab to Michigan native Mike Slusarski, who bid $42,301 in an eBay charity auction benefiting the Victory Junction Gang camp. Kyle Petty will accept Slusarski’s bid – 100 percent of which goes to the camp.

    ON THE RIGHT TRACK
    Crawford, Musgrave perfect at Nashville … Musgrave and Crawford never have finished off the lead lap or out of the top five in three Nashville Superspeedway starts. Musgrave has led all three races. Crawford has led two.

    QUOTEBOOK

    “My track record is pretty decent at tracks that I have little or no experience on, so I’m going into the race this weekend looking to bring home another good finish for my manufacturer and team.” – Mike Skinner, No. 42 Toyota Tundra Toyota, the only competitor among the top 12 in points without a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series appearance at Nashville Superspeedway. “We built a brand new in-house truck for Bristol and needed to have a test session with it. Bobby Junior drove a truck for me two years ago in Nashville and finished fourth . He gave us a lot of great input, so this is a natural fit for us again. Harold Holly (Hamilton Jr.’s NASCAR Busch Series crew chief) and all the Marines guys are coming over to pit it, so we’re excited about the help.” – Bobby Hamilton, on racing with his son in the Toyota Tundra 200. “I love any opportunity to race with my dad. Every time we race together it is a learning opportunity for me. I love the fact I can drive my dad’s stuff and bring my Team Marines guys in to pit the car. It reminds me of the Saturday night racing so many of us are familiar with in Nashville.” – Bobby Hamilton Jr., who out-raced his father – he finished sixth, his father 16th – in last weekend’s NASCAR Busch Series race at Indianapolis Raceway Park. “Winning the first Bud Pole of my career in the NASCAR Busch Series and breaking the track record at Nashville is something I will always remember. We broke the track record at Michigan a few weeks ago in the truck but it didn’t stand because qualifying was rained out right after my run.” – Shane Hmiel (No. 15 Earl Small’s Harley-Davidson Chevrolet), whose Pepsi 300 pole was clocked at a then-record speed of 161.440 mph.

    FROM THE ARCHIVES
    Jack Sprague is looking for his first series victory at the Nashville Superspeedway, but the three-time NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion remains the only competitor to have won a race at three different tracks in Tennessee. Sprague has victories at Bristol Motor Speedway (1999), Memphis Motorsports Park (2000) and Nashville Speedway USA (1997). Sprague also won a NASCAR Busch Series race at Nashville Superspeedway in 2002.

    FAST FACTS
    What: Toyota Tundra 200 (Race No. 15 of 25). Where: Nashville Superspeedway, Nashville, Tenn. When: 5 p.m. ET, Saturday, Aug. 14. Track layout: 1.333-mile banked concrete oval. Race length: 200 miles/150 laps. Posted awards: $424,074. TV: SPEED Channel, 5 p.m. ET. Radio: MRN, XM Satellite. 2003 winner: Carl Edwards. 2003 polesitter: Chad Chaffin. Pre-race schedule (all times local): Friday, Practice 11:00 a.m. until 1:25 p.m. Qualifying 4:00 p.m. Trucks impounded following qualifying.(NASCAR PR)(8-12-2004)

  • Hamilton Jr. to run Nashville Truck race for Dad: This weekend Bobby Hamilton Racing will field a fourth truck driven [#04 Dodge] by Busch Series driver Bobby Hamilton Jr. The family connection extends beyond the father and son who will be racing for the Gibson guitar at their home track “their sponsors are also related. Bobby Jr.’s sponsor for the race will be Dayton, Ohio, based Hyde Park Electronics, the world leader in ultrasonic sensing technology and a subsidiary of Schneider Electric. Square D, Bobby Sr.’s sponsor, is the 100-year-old, market-leading brand of electrical distribution and industrial control products also part of the Schneider Electric brand family. Hamilton Jr. has two NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series starts with Bobby Hamilton Racing. In 2001 he finished fourth in this event, the highest finishing BHR truck. Hamilton Jr. is racing a brand new truck which Hamilton Sr. is planning on running in Bristol in two weeks. Hamilton Jr’s Busch Series crew chief, Harold Holly, will be the crew chief.(BHR PR)(8-12-2004)
  • Chaffin wins at IRP: #43-Johnny Sauter, who dominated and decimated the rest of the competition in Friday nights Power Stroke Diesel 200 at Indianapolis Raceway Park, couldn’t lead the only lap that mattered. Sauter was leading as he started the final lap when #24-Travis Kvapil powered to the inside looking for his second consecutive NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series win. But Kvapil couldn’t complete the pass exiting Turn 2. #18-Chad Chaffin, however, had a different plan. He drove to the outside while Sauter and Kvapil bumped and banged and passed them both, moving from third to first exiting Turn 4 and claiming a surprising victory. It was Chaffin’s second series win of the season and second of his career. Sauter finished 0.348 seconds back, with Chaffin’s team owner #4-Bobby Hamilton third, Kvapil fourth and #99-Carl Edwards fifth. Former points leader #46-Dennis Setzer finished 12th, pushing Hamilton to a five-point lead in the standings. Chaffin’s success came in part with his team’s decision to pit for tires a final time on Lap 178 of 200, while Sauter and Setzer remained on the track.(ThatsRacin.com)
    For results see:
    Truckseries.com.
    Motorsports One
    NASCAR.com.(8-6-2004)
  • Sprague wins pole at IRP: #16-Jack Sprague won the pole for the Power Stroke Diesel 200 at Indianapolis Raceway Park with a speed of 110.275mph. The pole is Sprague’s 24th of his career. The rest of the top five are #4-Bobby Hamilton, #24-Travis Kvapil, #42-Mike Skinner and #18-Chad Chaffin. #11-Darrell Waltip qualified 29th, his brother #33-Michael Waltrip qualified 15th.
    From the Stock Car Fans CTS Newsletter: Congratulations to Jack Sprague and the #16 IWX Racing team on capturing the pole for tonight’s race at Indianapolis Raceway Park. Bobby Hamilton is staying close to the front also, he will start 2nd. Hamilton is followed by the Bang Racing team of Travis Kvapil (who is sponsored by Nutzz.Com this week, an online auction which is pretty neat to check out!) and Mike Skinner. A few surprises in the top 10 included Johnny Sauter in the Curb Records Chevy (6th) and Denny Hamlin in the Joe Gibbs Performance Chevy (7th). Among the contenders starting towards the rear of the field, are Steve Park (24th), Rick Crawford (27th), and Darrell Waltrip (28th). Andy Houston and Gateway winner David Starr will start 29th and 30th respectively.
    ThatsRacin.com
    Truckseries.com – qualifying
    Truckseries.com – lineup
    Motorsports One
    NASCAR.com.(8-6-2004)
  • IRP – NEWS & NOTES
    Toyota wins for first time at Michigan … After two early-season runner-up finishes, Toyota claimed its first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series victory on July 31 at Michigan International Speedway. Travis Kvapil (No. 24 Line-X Toyota) passed his Bang Racing teammate Mike Skinner (No. 42 Toyota Tundra Toyota) with 17 laps to go for the historic win in the truck’s 13th series appearance. Each of the series’ four manufacturers won a race in July – Ford at Kansas Speedway, Dodge at Kentucky Speedway and Chevrolet at Gateway International Raceway.

    Waltrip brothers prepare to battle at IRP … Brothers Darrell (No. 11 Toyota Tundra Toyota) and Michael Waltrip (No. 33 Monaco Coach Corporations Chevrolet) will compete against each other in the Power Stroke Diesel 200 for only the second time in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Michael got the best of Darrell Waltrip in November 1996, finishing fourth while his older sibling finished 20th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Darrell finished sixth at IRP in 2002.

    Etc. … Competitors boasting six of nine series victories at IRP are expected to compete in this week’s 10th edition of the event. They are Skinner (1995-96), Jack Sprague (No. 16 Chevy Trucks Chevrolet, 1998 and 2001), Terry Cook (No. 10 Power Stroke Diesel Ford, 2002) and Edwards (2003). … If he wins this week, Sprague will become the first $5 million career winner in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. In 185 starts, the three-time champion has won $4,964,569. He’ll also celebrate his 40th birthday on Sunday. … Three of the top-five finishers in last year’s Power Stroke Diesel 200 are former Raybestos Rookies of the Year – Edwards (2003), first; Kvapil (2001), second and Brendan Gaughan (2002), fourth. … Dennis Setzer (No. 46 Chevrolet Silverado Chevrolet), carries a 33-point lead over Bobby Hamilton (No. 4 Square D Dodge) into race No. 19 of 25. Setzer’s advantage has fluctuated from a high of 131 points (June 28 over Edwards) to six points (July 10 over Hamilton). He has held the No. 1 spot for 10 consecutive races. … Indianapolis Raceway Park is one of only five venues to host a race in each of the series’ 10 seasons. … Bud Pole starters have won four of the nine races held at IRP with the winner being one of the top-three qualifiers only once. … Among competitors doing double duty this week is Shane Hmiel (No. 15 Earl Small’s Harley-Davidson Chevrolet), who’ll again substitute for Kasey Kahne in the NASCAR Busch Series. Hmiel drove Kahne’s No. 38 Great Clips Dodge to a fourth-place finish at The Milwaukee Mile. Hmiel finished fourth at IRP last year. … The preliminary entry for the Power Stroke Diesel 200 lists 52 teams. That’s six more than made qualifying attempts a year ago. … Johnny Benson will get a second stint behind the wheel of the Bill Davis Racing No. 23 Toyota Tundra Toyota. In his debut with the team last week at Michigan International Speedway, Benson drove to a fourth-place finish from 31st. … Crew Chief John Monsam, released from the No. 50 Roush Racing team of Jon Wood, has signed with Bang Racing and guided Skinner to a third-place finish at Michigan. Monsam has won with a series-record seven drivers. Wood’s new crew chief is veteran Roush Racing employee Tony Price. Ten of 30 fulltime series teams – a third – have made a crew chief change since the season began.

    ON THE RIGHT TRACK
    Watch out for these guys … Skinner, Sprague and Cook have led a combined eight races at Indianapolis Raceway Park, winning five. Skinner led all 250 laps en route to victories in 1995 and 1996 and is the track’s all-time series lap leader with 350. Sprague and cook have led 237 and 221 laps, respectively.

    FROM THE ARCHIVES
    The NASCAR Busch Series’ No. 2-ranked driver and Raybestos Rookie of the Year leader Kyle Busch made his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series debut at Indianapolis Raceway Park in 2001. The then-16-year-old Busch finished ninth after starting from the rear of the field in a backup truck. Busch is due to drive the No. 47 ACXIOM Chevrolet in Friday’s Power Stroke Diesel 200.

    FAST FACTS:
    What: Power Stroke Diesel 200 (Race No. 14 of 25).
    Where: Indianapolis Raceway Park, Clermont, Ind.
    When: 8 p.m. ET, Friday, Aug. 6.
    Track layout: .686-mile paved oval.
    Race length: 200 laps/137.2 miles.
    Posted awards: $485,784.
    TV: SPEED Channel, 8 p.m. ET.
    Radio: MRN, XM Satellite.
    2003 winner: Carl Edwards.
    2003 polesitter: Terry Cook.
    Pre-race schedule (all times local): Friday, Practice 11:45 a.m. until 1:45 p.m. Qualifying 3:45 p.m. Trucks impounded following qualifying.(NASCAR PR)(8-5-2004)

  • MB runs the #26 first time since 2000: Patrick Lawson, from Edwardsville IL, will make his Craftsman Truck Series debut Friday night at the Indianapolis Raceway Park (IRP) for the Power Stroke Diesel 200. Lawson will be driving a second entry for MB Motorsports, based out of Foristell, Mo. Lawson, a veteran of the Sunoco Super Series and of short tracks around the Midwest such as I-70 Speedway, could very well be the next of a long line of racing prodigies discovered by Mittler. The list includes 1998 NASCAR Cup Series Rookie of the Year Kenny Irwin, Jr., 2003 NASCAR Cup Series Rookie of the Year, Jamie McMurray, 2003 NCTS Rookie of the Year, Carl Edwards, and his current driver, Chris Wimmer. Lawson will be driving the #26 MB Motorsports Ford Friday night, reviving a number that has special meaning for Lawson and his crew. “This was Tony (Roper’s) number,” he said. “Tony and I were good friends and it’s an honor for me to be the first person to drive that number in the Craftsman Truck Series since we lost him. I’m going to do my best to honor his memory Friday night.” Also looking forward to the second team is Chris Wimmer, who is the driver for MB Motorsports’ #63 Ford primary team. “It’s going to be fun teaming up with Patrick this weekend,” said Wimmer. “He works next to us in the shop everyday and he’s a great guy to have around. It’s his first NASCAR start so he’s excited and we’re all excited for him. It’s going to be a great weekend for MB Motorsports.”(MB Motorsports PR)(8-6-2004)
  • Bang Racing announces Memberworks joint venture: Bang Racing, a technology focused NASCAR team, announced a joint venture with MemberWorks Incorporated, a leading provider of membership, loyalty and consumer services. Together the companies will launch Nutzz.com’s exclusive, paid “Elite Membership” program in September 2004 which will reward consumers for participation in promotions and commerce activities in NASCAR motorsports and offer members benefits and discounts on products and services. The strategic partnership between Bang Racing and MemberWorks to co-market and target the motorsports consumer fan base with Nutzz.com’S “Elite Membership” will enable MemberWorks to expand and tap into the NASCAR audience. Nutzz.com is the first company specifically designed to provide motorsports sponsors targeted interactions between consumers and brands. Nutzz.com members earn a currency called “NUTZZ” by participating in sponsor promotions, interacting with drivers, entering contests and sweepstakes, playing games and making purchases from a wide variety of merchants. “NUTZZ” currencies are then redeemed in the NUTZZ Auction for free merchandise, electronics, team apparel and more. As part of the agreement, Nutzz.com will sponsor Bang Racing’s NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Team in the 2004 season and beyond. The sponsorship program includes primary sponsorship on the #24 Tundra driven by Travis Kvapil, the 2003 Craftsman Truck Series Champion.(Bang Racing PR)(8-6-2004)
  • #03 Team Returns to action at IRP: The last time Team EJP Racing attempted to qualify for a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race was the Infineon 200 at Charlotte in May. Since then, the team has retooled, formed a technical partnership with one of the most powerful organizations in NASCAR racing, and hired a promising young driver to take the wheel. The team returns to the series with Joe Gibbs Racing development driver Denny Hamlin at the reins of the #03 Team EJP Racing/Decoma/Joe Gibbs Performance Chevrolet at Indianapolis Raceway Park. The team recently spent two days testing for the IRP event at Thompson Speedway in Connecticut. Two opportunities that have already been presented are relationships with Decoma and Joe Gibbs Performance. Decoma manufactures many of the exterior styling components used on the customized Joe Gibbs Performance vehicles. Joe Gibbs Performance vehicles are a great product and we know the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series fans are truck people. Not a lot of people get the opportunity to get to drive a true high performance vehicle. The Joe Gibbs Performance Silverado is very affordable, which will give our customers a lot for their dollar.(PR)(8-4-2004)
  • New team to debut at IRP: Rookie Sean Murphy will be behind the wheel of the #30 Chevrolet when Groove Motorsports makes its debut in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in the Power Stroke Diesel 200 at Indianapolis Raceway Park on August 6. It will be the first of four races this season for the newly formed team. Groove Motorsports, which utilizes direct and internet based marketing to generate both sales and lead generation response for its sponsors, plans to field one or two trucks for the entire 2005 season of the Craftsman Truck Series. “We’re excited to make our NASCAR debut as Groove Motorsports in the Craftsman Truck Series,” said team co-owner Roger Brown. “Indianapolis has a great history of racing, and we hope to build a great NASCAR team starting with the Power Stroke Diesel 200 at Indianapolis Raceway Park.” The primary sponsor for the August 6 race is Digital Information Network. Other sponsors include Blast Channel, Freedom Builders, Escalade Sports and Creative Marketing Strategies. “Groove Motorsports is committed to not only branding its sponsors, but providing marketing programs that yield a positive return on investment,” said Ed DuCoin, a marketing expert who joined Roger Brown and Todd Via to form the new NASCAR team. “By combining our 30-plus years of racing experience including entries at the Busch Grand National level, Roger and I have partnered with Ed to offer a complete race and marketing package for our sponsors,” Todd Via said. The Power Stroke Diesel 200 will be driver Murphy’s Craftsman Truck Series debut. “As a new driver, I have no provisional points, all I can say is please pray for no rain so that we can have qualifying, We tried to qualify for the Mansfield Ohio race in May, but it was cancelled due to weather” Murphy said. Groove Motorsports is based in Marlton, NJ and operates race facilities in Roanoke, VA. Roger Brown, Edward DuCoin, and Todd Via equally own the company. It will enter the #30 Craftsman Truck in four races in 2004, plus the entire 2005 season.(Groove Motorsports PR)(8-3-2004)
  • Kyle Busch to run Truck race at IRP: Morgan Dollar Motorsports has entered Kyle Busch in its #47 Chevrolet in Friday’s Power Stroke Diesel Craftsman Truck Series race at Indianapolis Raceway Park. Busch, who is currently second in the Busch Series point standings, will be making his first appearance in the series since his success as a 16-year-old driver in 2001 prompted NASCAR to revise its age rules. Busch, who now competes for Hendrick Motorsports in the Busch Series and in a limited Nextel Cup program, says the team granted permission for him to drive in the truck race..(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(8-2-2004)
  • Toyota has power: It appears Toyota has stopped its sandbagging. Travis Kvapil gave Toyota its first win in the Craftsman Truck Series on Saturday at Michigan, and three Toyotas finished in the top five. NASCAR took trucks from each of the manufacturers to the engine dynamometer afterward and found that Toyota had a 12-horsepower advantage over its competitors.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(8-2-2004)